cover image Fairy Tales East Europe CL

Fairy Tales East Europe CL

Neil Philip. Clarion Books, $19.95 (157pp) ISBN 978-0-395-57456-0

Twenty-two stories adapted from original eastern European lore comprise this flavorful collection, which strongly affirms the enchanting appeal of fairy tales. Common themes of the genre are prevalent--kindness, cleverness and determination are rewarded; pride, greed and wickedness are (often brutally) punished--and well-known characters such as Baba Yaga and Babushka appear throughout. In addition to making the stories accessible, folklorist Philip takes great care to provide authentic translations that closely replicate the oral traditions and individual cultures of the various countries. Wilkes's numerous pen-and-ink sketches and full-color paintings bring the look of old Europe to life while tenderly depicting the human frailties that are at the heart of good storytelling. The end result is mesmerizing. Amidst sweeping social and political changes that continue to shrink the distance between nations, it is comforting to find literature that is familiar--but with a pinch of added spice. Ages 9-up. (Oct.)